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I am using Ecoinvent 3.9.1 Cutoff LCI in openLCA and I want to try to make a very simple model that covers the impacts of a 50 km long flight on a very small (2-seater) plane to carry out a geophysical survey carrying some geophysical instruments. I am not sure if I am getting muddled between how to use transport and market for transport datasets - as the simplicity of the question probably shows I am somewhat new to LCA.

I have selected 'transport, freight, aircraft, dedicated freight, very short haul' but I'm wondering if this is correct. I'm not sure if I should also include a market for transport data set. Also, I think this dataset originally came from data from much larger planes - is there a dataset anyone is aware of that would be suitable for a little 2-seater sized one just carrying 2 people (including pilot) and some 50 kg or so of equipment? Finally, I'm not sure whether it is more appropriate to use a dataset for freight or passenger transport since the equipment is not very heavy and the plane would carry the pilot plus one geophysicist.

The plane has been especially chartered for the geophysical survey. The survey in total will be some hundreds of km2 but my functional unit is 1 km2 to be able to compare with other geophysical data collection methods.  

Thank you for any tips.

in Miscellaneous by (130 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
by (113k points)
Hi Kate,

interesting question, the ecoinvent datasets are more for larger planes, thus won't fit perfectly, although they allocate per person or ton km thus scaling down the overall impact of the plane. Larger planes may be more efficient but also heavier and faster and thus consume more. So ideally, you model your own plane dataset for this, but can use ecoinvent's datases as a proxy.

Then, I would assume your case is a mix of freight and person transport, so you can select either; and I would model per distance (so, person or ton-km) and convert the area to the distance.

Hope this helps, Andreas
by (130 points)
thank you Andreas :)